Blockchain is an online ledger of records arranged in data batches called blocks which are secured and linked using cryptography. Each block contains transaction data, link to a previous block and time stamp. Immediately after completing a block, a new block will be generated. So, there will be an unlimited number of blocks in the blockchain. All these blocks are linked to each other like a chain of blocks that show every transaction performed in the blockchain history.
Blockchain is a giant network, a database which records transactions between two parties efficiently and provides you access to view and participates. The changes made to the ledger will be reflected automatically in all copies like Google Drive and with restricted membership, the blockchain networks can be private.
80% of 3,000 executives are using blockchain technology to grow new business models. 71 percent of business leaders who are using this technology believe that it plays an important role in technology advancements. Blockchain is not only limited to finance but also the non-financial customers are focussing on opportunities that Blockchain offers.
Let us see some blockchain applications beyond payments:
Smart Contracts (digital contracts) are just computer programs that are written in order to make smooth and flawless transactions with the ability to self-enforce and self-execute themselves. The main objective of the digital contract is to allow two unknown persons or companies to deal and do business with each other, without the requirement of the middleman. Smart Contract is a key element to future generation blockchain platforms. Soon it will become a backbone for business blockchain applications.
The major constraint to getting online electoral processes is security. As blockchains serve as mediums for recording, following and computing votes, there will be no lost records, voter-fraud etc. A voter can check whether his or her vote is successfully transmitted or not while remaining unknown to the rest of the world. Liberal Alliance, a political party in Denmark, is the first party that made digital voting with the use of blockchain technology in 2014. Follow My Vote’s platform offers secure online voting system using blockchain technology.
Digital identity is important to many social and business transactions. It allows you to communicate with billions of users in the digital world. But traditional identity systems are costly and time-consuming. Using blockchain for identity helps you overcome this problem. It offers users to select their identity themselves and with whom they want to share their identity. For this, first, the user needs to complete the registration process on the blockchain. Once done, there is no need to register again for every service provider.
Goldman Sachs said, “Despite the relatively low transaction costs for securities such as equities, up to 10% of trades are subject to various errors, leading to manual intervention and extending the time required to settle trades.” Industries could save around $11 to $12 billion in capital charges, fees etc by using blockchain to the cash securities, leveraged loans, and equities. Blockchain technology serves as a tool to prevent cyberattacks and enhances the privacy and security of Internet of Things.
Supply chain communications
The things we buy mostly are not made by a single company. A chain of distributors sells their products to a company that accumulates and markets the ultimate product. However, since the brand gets directly affected by the negative reaction of the customers, it is the responsibility of the supply chain in case any product fails. This can be made easier if a company is providing auditable and digitally permanent records that show stakeholders the state of the product at each step. Blockchain helps to track real estate, diamonds, art and virtually any other property.